Neighbors Book 1

Page 1


Ed Baker

tel let / red ochre press 2007 1

[Neighbors] "There exists a creature who is perfectly harmless; when it passes before your eyes, you hardly notice it and immediately forget again. But as soon as it somehow, invisibly, gets into your ears, it begins to develop, it hatches, and cases have been known where it has penetrated into the brain and flourish­ es there devastatingly, like pneumococci in dogs which gain entrance through the nose. This creature is your neighbor." ­Ranier Maria Rilke Ahead of All Parting: p.266

"Giacometti said: 'One day while I was drawing a young girl something struck me: that is to say, all of a sudden I noticed the only thing that re­ mained alive was the gaze. The rest, the head made into a skull, became equivalent to a death's head. What made the difference between death and the individual was the gaze ... In a living person there is no doubt that what makes him alive is his gaze. If the gaze, that is to say life itself, becomes essential, there is no doubt that what is essential is the head." from James Lord's 'Giacometti a biography' p. 426


copyright (c) 2007 by Ed Baker in conjunction w tel let "the imaginary is what tends to become real." ­Andre Breton "every page a book. each word more so." ­Ed Baker


tel let / Red Ochre Press 8215 Flower Ave. Takoma Park, Md. 20912


Contents 1. AROUSAL The Edge Gone Fishing The Runner A Valentine Object Subject Predicates Upon Letters Silhouette Focus The Set­up In this quiet She handed The Silences Dead Ignition Tall Standing Nude I thought The View Man Contemplates Framed Sketch Hung on Wall Last Word FIRST The Glare The Touch I was

8 9 10 11 12 14 16 17 18 19 19 22 23 26 29 31 32 33 34 35

2. CALLING YOU Calling You Fill 'er Up Guitar Riff The Cut Tuesday Morning The Fall Letter of Intent Regarding What I Want Stork Belt Around Waist The Window A Complication Great American Guarantee To Get Eyes Open This Poem is Form Red Ochre Ten Years Bondage She has it Continued Search for Of Course It's Your Mind The Face The Cut Nude: Woman Stands Your Eyes

38 40 41 42 43 44 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 59 60 61 62 63 64 66


3. SHADES A Maven Sues Eating Your Barb/ecue I Opened Model Behind Glass What Good? Two weeks into I would visions come She is Mystery I/You Dance The Shade came down The Silence each

69 70 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 81 84 85


(all art by the Author) "Masked woman in Window with two crystal tears" 3/7/98 ­front piece/cover "The Embrace" 3/6/98 "A View" 2/24/98 "The Glare" 3/4/98 "You..." (after A. Giacometti) 4/19/98 "#2 Through the Window 8:35 A.M." 4/11/98 "Six­over­One" 4/19/98 "The Face" 5/5/98

12 25 30 36 65 67 71 86



AROUSAL (2/9/98)


The Edge On sill peering head tilted towards sun so close I can smell your hair hanging down Green eyes hidden among the black embrace a contradiction briefly confused by your look glare to get a better sense of I turned


GONE FISHING 1. You gave me a can of worms and told me to go fish ing; so, I did I fished & I fished & I am fish ing. 2. May have put corn on line yet is pone bait on perch that sill is step higher swim against current better view



run s difficult a long trail cut through sunlit leg s long rise fingers, hands body stretches longings for balance cling ing tangle winter branches before me and I reach


A VALENTINE white wall ladder leaned against to get to Neighbor claim her attention Ritual is rapping on window pain face reflection what comes back to haunt little said or startles gets us there comes by reflection what also gets


OBJECT SUBJECT PREDICATES UPON untied knot legs made cave towards fire light to her slitted just there her mouth wide open hand palm his due predicate upon touch all ears tuned turn to place purslane in early spring



LETTERS What beside letter slipped under back door three days laid on counter unopened morning signals rise too blinds smell of breakfast burn ing s waft through half raised wind ow deliberately stripped to bare skin while leaves in small piles once were burned drew all attention towards lingering smell a woman wait ing. next to her next to couch next Bonded Jim Beam did me in... sealed letter whiskey on ice


(she KNOWS I'm a beer man) brought me to beside myself This Friday open its expanse a woman is doing exactly three times one d r o p ing into confusion issues pre dispose loose fit to knees to fit.


SILHOUTTE ­for S.S. 1. Awaken! days spent gazing through window (I swear again) stand between glass/body light leans through that dress re:veals breasts, back, front desire right on direct to 'pudding' just there legs curve delight pitch to certain knowledge 2. "Mine!"


3. First suck ing head everything that could get be yond conditions hair pungent caught in eye in ear 'tick' 'tick' 3 A.M. leaps want


FOCUS Stood in distances and watched your reflection moving suddenly through in sulated glass under winter blank ettes her hot fingers your hotter breath make lighter fogged image w black soft hair hanging from the draw­string "gee!" becomes long developed print­sketch ing the hurt was not my doing.


THE SET­up I should have known better than to have worn "that" hat cock s tail for show it is a business not yet was prepared for what went down like rabbit in mind in head switch her 'on' to memorized image of "my father molesting me" another want to tell her that the pain is not the woman the girl was.


In this quiet she handed me another clearly bonded double whiskey is clear to me now as cold her hands were chilled to the touch just so across the room fire in hearth a moment that I could not get out of



between her opening and closing hands 'round over under as clear as glass gave additiona ly her home­brewed blues accompanied by own guitar string s contorted gaze a twist twist in to body stretch ing another time place I would have quickly paid sipped from rim eat ripe persimmon from between n her lips... arms are branches twist is this head giving hair flip flopping fly­away up twirl is dizzying ly full skirt fingers into my beard into my mouth putting words just be yond


this ;semi­colon that hair agai n again no met aphor can do "this" adequate homage... through obvious gates go countless others foot prints through snow to and from to and fro m a moment to be getting out of just in time!


DEAD IGNITION car parked between commitments east­wise shadow elongates push it on go­button through the cold motor whine is an unwelcome d sound through from there to here from toward another there her thin body hard against the wind ow pain 2/22/99


TALL STANDING NUDE fall of '97 first drawn duplicate in corner through red glow on green skin reflects source a man comes into this scathed heat shapes his rise ing prowess comes on waves One wave beckons his re:solve what he is


pressed between hot/cold moment s bounded hung then gone what was be hind cannot tell front from back also stands.



I/ thought it was a Tree of Heaven, I swear, she said it was this straddle ing be/tween our properties sured defined beautiful shape of clay roof tiles nestled into birds nesting spent years cackling back and forth over property rights cut through perfectly to utility hut trench to lay electric in trimmed her big tree actually a bush­weed fully grown


warning me to mind the clippers imagine that! her near still holds arms 'round doubt I (nor she) can or will let go

shear persists warning's end thin branching s over­growing taking wind with white sided house black between the window s shutter no one sees her so through nor calls or comes smooth as silk the hinge s oil last one out slams door


on on on on on clouds these moment s de:tangle knots in hair braids undone un done precise movement of her lips toward smile red red the sepia of relentless stiff as so

Adumbrate what is be come of her of this sunlit casting long ing shadow blue sky blue bird chirps bird sound ing Shrike­like mocking cut of my in two lips moist to quick ness say or "You can kissss my assessss precisely."


THE VIEW I hardly knew you then something in par­ ticular slowed me down leaves catching sudden warm breeze lingers in it s drift deliberately kept my distance to get a perspective; for days nothing about anything said what meant more so just out of reach or want stroke can write reach over wring your neck



MAN CONTEMPLATES FRAMED SKETCH HUNG ON WALL Skein of line bounds situate rage is continual stare beyond this perfect wait cat walks through fog closes numerate possibilities hairy form just so just so sparse in frame hung from nail nailed through hands it s imminent fly to phantasy


LAST WORD FIRST 1. wire fan­sounds ch... ch... ch... content to murder The Silence disappearing into its own w h i r r... set on sill brings what wind it can 2. night descends just be yond her rail ling lean is i nto open ed wide what way wrong not issued or an saying stone drop ped into half full glass care ab­ ruptly closes 3. Now. To get down from this ladder!


The Glare from here parts of a girl a woman is mother of seen atom's center with The Naked Eye possible frags a clue it s image pure hypothesis hard­edge surrounded by The White it s circumference has no center as sunlight light clouds over­cover comes back to lie w me under stand ing swings hips makes every thing (in)visible


The Touch what thinking demands walking along Sugar loaf Mont s rim round valley up this side over­grown pines just beyond smoke waft ing of a pungency nuclear waste management facility restricted access was also her on paper felt skin itch up bristle her black hairs arch on beyond words dive is into without a sound. Could longer at least strip down to linger "there" see you loosely held together "We have a complex relationship. "My father was a garbage man. Picked up the dead the near dead:


"I was young and knew nothing." OH THE STENCH! burn is both ends towards middle unfinished /smolders /smolders